Sen. Cotton Nukes Coca-Cola for Refusing to Condemn Chinese Communist Party
Republican senator hammers top executive over genocide in China
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) nuked a top executive from Coca-Cola during a Senate hearing on Tuesday as he hammered the company for refusing to condemn acts of genocide committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Senator Cotton tore into Coca-Cola’s Global Vice President for Human Rights, Paul Lalli, over the American soft drink giant's refusal to speak out against Communist China after the company weighed in on domestic political matters earlier this year.
Posting a video of the question on Twitter, Cotton wrote that Coca-Cola would not “condemn the Chinese Communist Party for committing genocide.”
He added that the company would still give its “support [to] the Winter Olympics in Beijing.”
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Coca-Cola and other brands have been slammed for securing lucrative sponsorship deals for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China while remaining silent on the atrocities committed by the ruling CCP.
"You see this is what I’m talking about,” Cotton said to Lalli after Lalli refused to condemn the Chinese Communist Party.
"Under questioning from Senator Merkley, and Representative McGovern, and Representative Chris Smith, every single one of you refused to say a single word by all appearances that will cost you one bit of market share inside of mainland China.
"Mr. Lalli, for instance, you were asked if Coca-Cola would call for the IOC, to delay the Chinese Olympics to give a chance for them to be rebid or for China to stop its genocide against its own people and you said that Coca Cola quote, I think is your exact words, quote, ‘doesn’t have a say,’ end quote.
"So, can you tell me why Coca-Cola doesn’t have a say in whether it’s sponsors the genocide Olympics next year, but it does have a say and how the state of Georgia runs its election laws?”
“Senator, what I stated was that we do not have a say in the selection of the host city, nor on whether an Olympics is postponed or relocated,” Lalli responded.
"Yeah, so you don’t, but you could just make a statement,” Cotton said.
"Your CEO could saddle up the same moral high horse that he got on when Georgia passed its election law and write a letter to the IOC and ask them to, anybody can do that.
"If he’s an American citizen, that’s his right under our Constitution.”
Lalli claimed that Coca-Cola was “most engaged on policy issues here at home,” which led Cotton to ask: “Can you explain to me why James Quincy, will … denounce a democratically elected legislature’s laws, but he will not simply say that the IOC should consider rebidding its Olympics or that Coca Cola should consider sponsoring the genocide Olympics?
"What’s the difference there?”
“Our role as a sponsor is to support and follow the athletes,” Lalli responded.
“So, you’re sponsoring the genocide Olympics, you are spending millions of dollars to sponsor the genocide Olympics,” Cotton said.
“Yet you will not opine on any matter about it, that you will stick your nose in the Georgia legislature’s election reform laws.
"Can you explain to me the contrast?”
“I think the answer is, you are afraid of the Chinese Communist Party, you’re afraid of what they will do to your company, if you say a single word, like for instance, saying that both the Biden and the Trump administration are correct when they say that China is committing a genocide against its own,” Cotton later added.
Coca-Cola: We stand up for what is right across the world.— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 27, 2021
Also Coca-Cola: We will not condemn the Chinese Communist Party for committing genocide, and we will support the Winter Olympics in Beijing. pic.twitter.com/9C56MJJYe8